I have always loved the word paradox. Admittedly, part of my childhood joy in the word was because my dad would make jokes about “a pair of docks” and such. My dad has always been a bringer-of-joy, so that’s no surprise. But simply the idea of a paradox has intrigued me for decades. A self-contradictory statement? What fun to play around with and try to untangle or decipher! Logic puzzles delight me.
So the idea of pursuing rest, or (further) working hard at resting is a bit paradoxical in my mind. But I love it. Of course, when I say that I am spending my summer pursuing rest and working hard at it, I really do mean the Paideia Northwest 2021 conference. But I am also trying to practice this principle myself. To find my rest in the Lord. To seek His peace. To prioritize Sabbath. To raise and educate my children without frenzy or anxiety. To labor hard, knowing that rest does not equal ease but it does involve trusting Someone outside of myself.
That said, the work of conference preparation this year is continuing forward with joy and clarity. I am so grateful. The way it gets a little more straightforward each year is a blessing. I am building upon what I did before, and it is a gift to know that what I work toward this year will also be built upon further next year. The Lord is so kind to provide for us in this way! To so often use our labors in a progressive fashion.
I have a hotel block worked out with Best Western in Liberty Lake. I have the luncheon catering contracted with Panera Bread. I have purchased table décor for the luncheon (because I actually get to set up the luncheon how I want to this year, instead of relinquishing that to the reality of having women sit anywhere and everywhere they so felt called to gather). I have giveaway items arriving in the mail. I even have a sponsor for scholarship tickets. Now I am working on accommodations for speakers, swag bag items, and morning snacks.
Registration will open two weeks from today, Lord willing, and I really couldn’t be more delighted. We sold three hundred tickets last year in a matter of two weeks. I don’t know if we will sell out again this year, or if last year was an anomaly. (Then again, I thought a great many things were an anomaly unique to 2020, and have seen that proven wrong… so you never know!) I do know, however, that the event is going to be a blessing.
Do you know what else is really fun for me this year?? There are two other locations in the US that have reached out to me, desiring to learn how to do what I do. Other women who want to bring this kind of gift to their communities. And I am so humbled. I am not particularly special, but I am resourceful and organized, and I love to share the blessings God has given me. So if you are reading this, please pray that I would communicate well with these other groups, and many new ways to bless the name of the Lord through mentoring other women who long for this kind of gathering.
That said… onward I plod. In faith. With joy. Because Rest is what I am working hard on right now! And the Lord is active, so I labor on for His Kingdom. Please join me.